The Rainforest

Clayoquot Sound is host to a lush, breathtakingly beautiful, unique and biodiverse west coast rainforest.

Where the Ocean Feeds the Trees

When we speak of the Clayoquot Sound, we speak both of land and sea. One cannot harbor life without the other. Here the trees are ancient giants. Their roots fed by a watershed rich with the nutrients of decayed fish. Hundreds of years old, the thick canopy of giant limbs reach out to catch sunlight and absorb the mists of sea.

These trees are central to Hesquiaht artwork, whaleboats, longhouses, hearths and medicine. For example, cedar wood has strong spiritual significance and is used for cleansing practices. Even the timbers for our school building comes from our lands.

Where the Ocean Feeds the Trees

Hesquiaht First Nation no longer accepts the colonialist practice of clear-cut logging within their territories in the Clayoquot Sound, a method that logs trees across vast swaths of land  Clear-cut methods are not sustainable as they damage the watershed, destroy habitat, disrupt the salmon life cycle and damage the rainforest. 

The salmon provide food, winter stores and economic opportunities for Hesquiaht fishermen who share their catch with the village and then sell the rest. Nitrogen-rich nutrients from fish decay feed the green and thriving medicinal coastal plant life. 

Nature's Carbon Shield

In essence, it is the salmon and their life cycle that enable mammoth-sized trees a long life of natural growth.    

Science now tells us what the Hesquiaht have known for thousands of years. The forests of the Clayoquot Sound are special.   

The extraordinary trees and abundance of lush, green plant life absorb massive amounts of carbon helping to keep greenhouse gases in check.